Home loan rate changes and product updates: February 2017
The RBA has kept the cash rate on hold as predicted, but interest rates and home loans haven’t been uneventful.
Interest rates for the Big Four haven’t changed much this month, with more focus on lowering their risk profiles. CBA followed its subsidiary Bankwest in pulling investment loans for new broker customers and Westpac tightened its lending criteria for off-the-plan apartment purchases. Macquarie Bank also tightened its lending criteria across all home loan applications.
In terms of rate movements, ING Direct moved its rates up by 0.15% on all its fixed rate products, as well as its Orange Advantage (LVR <=80% investor) and Mortgage Simplifier (LVR <=80% investor) variable products.
Heritage Bank also moved its fixed and variable products with its 2-year fixed with or without Advantage Package up by 0.05% for owner occupiers. Its 1-year fixed products with or without Advantage Package was decreased by 0.30%. For its variable products it moved its Advantage Package Standard Variable rate and Living Equity Line of Credit rate up by 0.15% for both owner occupiers and investors.
UBank pushed up its 3- and 5-year fixed rate products by between 0.22% and 0.30% for both owner occupiers and investors. Newcastle Permanent Building Society also increased all its fixed rate products by between 0.10% and 0.60% and Homeloans.com.au increased its Ultra Plus 2- and 3-year fixed rate products by between 0.05% and 0.10% for both owner occupier and investors.
There were also some new products released into the market this month with Illawarra Credit Union and Catalyst Money offering a new 2-year introductory variable rate of 3.84% (4.71% comparison rate ). This followed a 0.10% increase of both lenders’ Variable and Variable Lite products for both owner occupiers and investors.
HSBC also sent a new product to market with its Home Value Home Loan offering a new owner occupier special of 3.75% (3.77% comparison rate ). NAB has restarted its cashback offer of $1,500 cashback to anyone who either refinances or takes out a new home loan with the bank (and utilises one of NAB’s main banking products as well).
Another change this month was with loan structuring and lender brands. IMB altered the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) tiers of some of its variable rate home loans and a few lenders rebranded, with Esso Employees Credit Union (EECU) now to be known as Nexus Mutual and Maritime, and Mining and Power Credit Union now called Unity Bank as of 1 March.